Tuesday, October 20, 2009
"Cybercriminals are growing rich by franchising out scareware distribution operations.
"The trade in rogue anti-virus application can make top-tier distributors an estimated $1.2m a year, net security firm Symantec estimates. A study by Symantec into the psychology of the scam found that 93 per cent of users deliberately downloaded and installed scareware packages, albeit without realising what they were getting for their money.
"Scareware slingers use trickery to mimic the look and feel of legitimate security packages, tapping into users' fears in order to trick them into buying worthless software packages. Some malicious sites use legitimate online payment services to process credit card purchases, offering receipts and serial numbers.
"Marks ended up running scareware packages of little or no utility, at best. Some of these packages install malicious code or reduce the overall security of a client PC, while in other cases users' payment details are used to facilitate further forms of fraud.
"The comparatively low-risk, fast-growing form of cybercrime typically uses an affiliate-based sales model. Symantec’s study found that the top ten sales affiliates of scareware distribution site TrafficConverter.biz earned an average of $23,000 per week."
From The Register...